Location: Platte County MO

Biographical Sketch of E. J. Phillips

E. J. Phillips was born in Chesterfield county, Virginia, May 18, 1831. His parents, Edward and Elizabeth Phillips, were also natives of Virginia. The subject of our sketch learned the carpenter’s trade when he was twenty-one years old, and was employed in that business for seven years; next worked as a millwright for a few years, then began farming, which has been his occupation ever since. In 1852 he came to Missouri and settled in Platte county, and in 1877 came to this county, and now owns a fine farm of 200 acres. Mr. Phillips was united in marriage, September 5, 1854, to Miss Eupha Beim, who was born September 5, 1838. By this marriage they have had eleven children, six of whom are living; namely, Virginia, born in July, 1855; Martha A., born in October, 1857; John L., born January 1, 1865; William R, born February 15, 1869; Eupha A., born in May, 1873; and Dora, born in 1875. Mrs. Phillips died September 23, 1877. September 8, 1881, he married Miss Cora A. Bowen, who was born September 13,...

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Biographical Sketch of S. L. Doty

S. L. Doty was born in Greene county, Tennessee, August 13, 1831. His parents, Jesse and Rebecca Doty, were both natives of Tennessee. Azre Doty, grand-father of S. L. Doty, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and was under General Marion, ” the Swamp Fox.” Our subject was educated in the common schools, and at the age of eighteen began to learn the cabinet-making trade, which he made his business until 1865, and since that time he has been farming. He came to Missouri in 1853 and settled in Liberty, Clay county, where he remained four years, then removed to Platte City, Platte county, and in 1865 came to this county and settled on a farm, where he now resides. Mr. Doty was united in marriage February 21, 1858, to Miss Mary M. Wills, who was born in Clay county, Missouri, August 18, 1840. Her family is of Scottish descent, her grandfather having emigrated from Scotland to this country before the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. Doty have three children: Charles F., born July 31, 1861; Augustus H., born December 14, 1865; and Clara B., born September 26,...

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Biography of James W. F. Owens

JAMES W.F. OWENS. – This gentleman was the eldest son of the pioneer Thomas Owens, and came as an infant in arms with his parents to Oregon in 1843, his birthplace having been Platte county, Missouri. In 1853 he removed with his parents to the Umpqua valley, and, amid the beautiful scenes of that almost unearthly region, grew to a vigorous manhood. His only education was received during a six months’ term of school at Dallas; but, having a phenomenal memory, this laid the basis for his large information of later years. He was one of those men who devour books and entertain very positive opinions upon the important subjects of life. The free and withal romantic life of a stock-raiser suited his bent; and in that business he was very successful. Marrying Miss Nannie L. Stevens of Ohio in 1864, he made for himself a cozy home, and gathered about him the comforts of life. Four children came to bless his life; and his early prospects were equal to those of anyone in our state. he owned for a long time a ferry on the Umpqua river, but made his residence at Roseburg. Gaining the confidence of the people, he was elected to the Oregon legislature in 1874 on the Independent ticket. During those years he was also very active in the Good Templar lodge, and was advanced...

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Biography of Thomas Jones

THOMAS JONES. – It is a noted principle, that in the degree in which one is called to endure hardship and successfully surmounts all obstacles and triumphs over every opposition, in that degree is his character strengthened and his forces of real manhood brought out. May it not be that because of the application of this principle, we have in so many of the early pioneers of this wealthy county, such fine specimens of genuine manhood and especially developed in the virtues mentioned. Well known among this worthy number is the esteemed gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, and who has surely done a noble part in enduring the woes of humanity and is developing the resources of the county, while he has ever manifested in the long years of his residence here a commendable exemplication of the Christian character and the sagacity and ability with which he is endowed. In Cocke county, Tennessee, on September 12, 1827, Thomas Jones was born to Russell and Sarah (Hayes) Jones. The father died when Thomas was yet very small and so he never knew the wise guiding of a father’s counsel. He passed the years of his minority on the farm and in attending school as he had opportunity, until he was twenty-three years of age. At that time he hired out for four years to operate a farm. In 1854,...

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Biographical Sketch of Albert F. McFarland

Albert F. McFarland was born in Platte county, Missouri, near Weston, August 5, 1838, and resided there until he was twenty-three years old, receiving his education in the common schools and at Pleasant Ridge College, of that county. He pursued a course of medical studies at St. Louis, Missouri, during the years 1860, ’61, ’62 and ’63, and began practice in the general army hospital in 1863, where he continued to practice until the close of the war, in 1865. In 1866 he made a trip across the plains to Salt Lake City, Utah, and to Virginia City, Montana, returning in the fall of that year. In December, 1867, he settled in Daviess county and commenced the practice of medicine. On the 19th day of November, 1868, Dr. McFarland was united in marriage to Miss Fannie, daughter of Theodore Peniston. He practiced his profession in the eastern part of Daviess county until November, 1874, when he was elected, on the Democratic ticket, clerk of the Circuit Court; was re-elected in 1878 to the same office, which he now holds and most credibly fills and performs the duties which devolve upon him to the satisfaction of the court and...

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Biography of George H. Keller

The name of George H. Keller, one of the founders of Leavenworth, stands among old-time residents for all that is brave and generous and stable and whole-souled, in the most trying times of the territory and the state. As John Speer once said: “His name was a synonym for honesty, integrity and patriotism; his house in Leavenworth illustrated the proverbial hospitality of the ‘Old Kentucky Home.'” “Uncle” George Keller was born in that state in February, 1801; his wife, a Van Dyke, was also a native of Kentucky, and both were descended from Holland Dutch stock. Soon after his marriage the couple migrated to a timbered farm near Terre Haute, Indiana, where he raised live stock and conducted a large inn on the National Road. In 1835 they moved to Platte County, Missouri, and for fifteen years Mr. Keller engaged in farming and manufacturing, when he disposed of all his interests, equipped a large train with merchandise and started for Sonoma Valley and the gold fields of California. He there founded the Town of Petaluma, now a prosperous city of several thousand people. In 1852 he located at Weston, Kansas, resumed farming, and was thus engaged until the spring of 1854, when, with other citizens of Weston, he founded the Town of Leavenworth. In the fall of that year, after completing the Leavenworth Hotel, the third building constructed in...

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Biography of James Franklin O’Daniel

The reader of modern Kansas history learns of the wonderful development of the state, of its wealth and resources, of its great educational institutions and its culture, and of its enterprise and reform legislation. Back, however, of all these truthful and encouraging records exists a vital and more interesting page of history, and only by linking the past with the present, may justice be done to all. A half century in the great cyele of Time means little, but it sometimes covers an entire individual life. There are men in different sections of this great state to whose labor, courage and resolution through the last half century, Kansas owes a great debt, for they were the pioneers along every line in which she now stands pre-eminent among the states. James Franklin O’Daniel, one of Riley County’s representative men, came to Kansas with the pioneers of 1859, at that time being a sturdy and ambitions youth of eighteen years. He was born in Larue County, Kentucky, October 22, 1840, and his parents were James and Margaret (Howell) O’Daniel. By birth they were Kentuckians but they were of Irish and German ancestry. Of their twelve children, James Franklin was fifth in order of birth. In 1852 they removed with their children to Platte County, Missouri, and resided at Parkville until 1859, in which year they became settlers in Pottawatomie County, Kansas,...

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Biography of Joseph G. Waters, Capt.

Joseph G. Waters, soldier, publicist, author of note, public speaker, lawyer, of Topeka, is an individuality out of the ordinary. As a soldier, his services were a credit to his country, and himself, and his five wounds received in action are witnesses of his activity. As an author his published utterances have been rarely seen outside his own family circle owing to the retiemce and innate modesty of the writer, but throughout his writings, whether prose or poetry, forcefulness, pleasing diction and pathos of high order predominated. For three decades his services have been in demand as a public speaker covering a wide variety of subjects and including patriotic political, economic and social questions. On the occasion of Queen Vietoria’s jubilee, he delivered the address in Topeka before those of English nativity or descent, and this was so highly esteemed by her majesty as to be one of six, out of thousands, to be selected as especially pleasing to the queen and worthy of being engrossed and placed in the English archives. For this Captain Waters received a grateful letter of thanks inspired by her majesty. For nearly half a century he had been one of the leading lawyers of Kansas and although past the three-score-and-ten years of life, he continues to be a conspicuous figure in the legals affairs of the state. Captain Joseph G. Waters was born...

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Biography of Harry Jiencke

For about a quarter of a century Harry Jiencke traveled about over the State of Kansas as a salesman, building up a large acquaintance and business relationship, but for the past twelve years had been prominently identified with the oil and gas and various other industrial affairs of Independence, where he is one of the well known citizens. Of an old German family of Mecklenburg, he came to America when only a youth. He was born May 27, 1858. His father, Joachim Jiencke, was born in Mecklenburg in 1806 and died there in 1869. He was a man of more than ordinary prominence. He had extensive farming and stock raising interests, was a member of the legal profession and held a judicial office, and during his service in the regular army went through the rebellion of 1848. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, Henrietta Ahrens, was born in Germany in 1818 and died there in venerable years in 1905. To their marriage were born a large family, fifteen children, and a brief record of them is as follows: William, now deceased; Gustav, a confectioner living in Chicago; Mina, who died in infancy; Louisa, still living in Mecklenburg, Germany, the widow of Henry Demin, who was a miller; Fritz, deceased; Karl, deceased; Marie, living in Mecklenburg, the widow of Otto Beutler, who was a confectioner; Panl,...

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Biography of James C. Shimer

Thirty years or association with the coal and feed business at Topeka had established for James C. Shimer a reputation for ability, resource and unflagging industry. He is one of the captains of suscess who have piloted their own craft to harbor. In his numerous varieties of experience, he had gained the good will of his fellow men, had made a place for himself in the business world and had served his county faithfully and well in public office, and out of all his struggles had evolved the belief that hard work rarely injures any one and that straightforward dealing always pays. His father, Caleb D. Shimer was born in Ohio, and as a young man went to Indiana, where he was engaged in the feed business until the Civil war came on. At that time he became keeper of a tollgate on the National Pike, outside of Indianapolis, the last one to be built in the county, and of this he continued keeper until the close of the war. He then returned to the feed business, but four years later purchased a small farm near Bethel, Indiana, which he continued to operate, with the making of candles as a side line, for many years. He died March 20, 1916, at the age of ninety-three years. Mr. Shimer married Ellen Bingham, who was born in Indiana, and they became...

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Biographical Sketch of Allen, Thomas

Allen, Thomas, son of Thomas and Anne C. (Russell ) Allen, was born October 19, 1849, at St. Louis, Mo. He was educated at the high school, Pittsfield, Mass., at the Williston Seminary, Easthampton, and then entered the Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., after which he studied art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, at Dilsseldorf, Germany, where he graduated from the master class in 1878, and afterward studied three years in France. He first exhibited his work in New York, at the National Academy of Design, in 1877, and has been represented in the National Academy at almost every exhibition since then. In 1882 and in 1884 was made an associate of the National Academy of Design. In 1880 he was elected a member of the Society of American Artists. His specialty is landscape and animal painting. After nearly ten years of foreign study, he opened his studio in the Pelham Studio on Boylston Street, Boston; not finding it sufficiently commodious, however, and meeting with marked success as a painter, he purchased a house on Commonwealth Avenue, in 1883, for a permanent home, and there built a large studio at the top of the house which he now occupies. Mr. Allen was first married in 1880, in Northampton, to Eleanor G., daughter of Prof. J. D. and Louisa (Goddard) Whitney of Cambridge, who left him one child;...

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Biography of Lawrence Pembroke Browne

Lawrence Pembroke Browne, father of Evan H., was born in Pennsylvania and his wife in Ohio. He came to Kansas City, Missouri, as a clerk for the firm of Northrop & Chick, one of the few business houses of any importance at that time, and later, in partnership with W. H. Chick, who yet survives, became the owner of the business. In 1884 this business, general merchandise, was incorporated by the Browne family, the Chick interests being then eliminated. Until the time of his death, in 1893, Lawrence Pembroke Browne continued at the head of this business, which was largely in the Mexican trade. The building of the railroads was the influence that caused its stsady progress westward, on through Kansas and Colorado and to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where there is a store at the present but the old business was sold in 1915. Mr. Browne in 1866 located in Junction City and then followed the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, settling at each tarminal, and later pursnod the same method along the Santa Fo Road. His whole time was given to his business affairs, in which he showed much enterprise. Evan H. Browne attended the schools in his native city and later Wyandotte Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, after which he went to work in the private banking house of Northrop & Son. After one year...

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Biography of Andrew Calvin Sewell

Andrew Calvin Sewell, a younger brother of J. B. Sewell, was born in Overton County, Tennessee, May 30, 1856. He was fifteen when the family came across the country in a prairie schooner to Montgomery County, Kansas, and in the meantime had attended public schools in Tennessee. While living on the farm southwest of Independence he continued his education in the district schools and in the fall of 1876 became a teacher. Preparatory to beginning his work as a teacher he had attended a private school conducted by Professor Morrison of Radical City. In his home district, Harrisonville, he taught a term, then attended the Normal Institute at Independence, and in the fall of 1877 took up his work in the Peebler District. The following spring he returned to the Harrisonville District and taught a term of three months, and then for three years was principal of schools at Elk City. After that he was again in the Harrisonville District, afterwards was principal for a year at Elk City, and then entered the mercantile business at Elk City. In 1898 he moved to Joplin, Missouri, where he was connected with merchandising and also as a prospector and miner for about two years. In 1901, after coming back to Elk City, he secured leases for about 17,000 acres of land in behalf of the Elk City Gas and Oil Company....

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Biographical Sketch of Shaler W. Eldridge

Shaler W. Eldridge, one of the leading free-state men of Lawrence and therefore of the Territory of Kansas, was a native of Massachusetts, born at West Springfield, August 29, 1816. The twelve years previous to coming to Kansas, he spent as a leading railroad contractor of New England. Arriving in Kansas City, Missouri, January 3, 1855, he purchased the American House from Samuel C. Pomeroy, who had previously obtained it from the Emigrant Aid Society. It is needless to say that it was headquarters for the free-state men, and that it harbored Governor Reeder in his escape from Kansas. In the early part of 1856 Colonel Eldridge leased the Free-State Hotel at Lawrence, which was burned by the pro-slavery people under Sheriff Jones. He attended the convention at Philadelphia which nominated Fremont, and was also a member of the Buffalo convention of July 9, 1856. It was doubtless his influence which mainly induced Secretary Stanton to issue the proclamation calling the first Free State Legislature to submit the Loccompton constitution to the people. In 1857 he and his brothers erected the Eldridge House at Lawrence, which was destroyed a second time by Quantrill, August 21, 1863. He enlisted in a company of the Second Kansas Regiment, was made Lieutenant and in 1863 appointed...

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Biography of John Conover, Col.

Of the individuals whose lives have influenced, developed, stabilised and broadened the civic and commercial resources of the State of Kansas, one of the most conspicuous was that of the late Col. John Conover. Coming to Kansas in 1857 and locating in Leavenworth, he was one of the pioneer merchants of that city. Going from Kansas at the outbreak of the war into the service of the Union army, he made a brilliant record as a soldier and officer, and that record is one of the many reasons why Kansas people should have a grateful memory of his life. Following the war there came ten years more of successful participation in the business affairs of Leavenworth, at the end of which time he identified himself with Kansas City, Missouri, and there occurred the culminating achievements of his business career, resulting in the founding and development of the Richards & Conover Hardware Company, the largest wholesale house in that line west of St. Louis. He died January 8, 1914. Before proceeding to the details of his career there should be quoted the summary of his experience which was happily phrased in the editorial columns of the Kansas City Star: “Colonel John Conover was a typical pioneer of the sort that had conquered the wilderness and made this western country great. A boy whose endowment lacked the glittering non-essentials of wealth...

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